Asbestos Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to remove asbestos just because it is there?

No. An asbestos containing material may remain in place as long as it is not damaged, going to be removed or the material or surface is expected to be renovated.

What is an asbestos containing material?

An Asbestos Containing Material (ACM) is defined as a material that contains more than 1% asbestos. Because of the unique properties of asbestos, it was widely used as an ingredient to many different building materials. The addition of asbestos to a product increased its durability and reduced wear, enhanced its ability to retain heat or cold and improved its fire resistance properties. It was widely added to products used in construction from approximately 1940 until 1982, and was also used in insulations as early as the late 1800's. A short list of examples of materials that may contain asbestos are:

How do I find out if a material contains asbestos?

Drywall joint compound, decorative wall and ceiling textures. Vinyl floor tile, sheet flooring materials and associated mastics. Spray on architectural ceiling textures. Older furnace insulations and supply duct joint tapes. Some cementitious roofing shingles and associated felts. Pipe insulations. Attic insulations although rare have been discovered to contain asbestos. Cementitious exterior siding tiles.

How do I find out if a material contains asbestos?

A small sample of the material will need to be collected and submitted to a laboratory for analysis. The results of the analysis will identify the type of asbestos and the percentage of asbestos in the sample if present.

Why is asbestos considered to be so dangerous?

Exposure to asbestos fiber containing dust through inhalation has shown to cause a scaring condition of the lung called asbestosis, lung cancer and other cancers.

We are planning on renovating our office or home, so what is next?

Any structure built prior to October 12, 1982, is required to be inspected for asbestos before any suspect materials are impacted. The inspection is required to be performed by a licensed inspector for structures built in the late 1980's. We also recommend testing as some materials may still have contained materials. We work with many reputable licensed inspectors and can provide this service if so desired.

Once the inspection process is complete and we discover we have an asbestos containing material, what is next?

Only those materials discovered to contain asbestos will require remediation before the planned renovation of the structure can begin. A site visit will be required, the development of a plan of action and the provision of an estimate of expected costs. We provide this service free of charge and can make available our assistance throughout the process.

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